Epic Recording Artist, Cartel, Uses MODE Studios For DVD

Cartel recently filmed its first concert DVD release for Epic Records. The shoot, directed by Matt Skeritt, took place at the eponymous Atlanta concert club, Masquarade.

Cartel, freshly signed to this summer’s Warped Tour, returned to Atlanta to revel in their local scene, celebrating a recent contract signing with Epic Records. The evening presented an opportunity to capture the unique energy of Cartel’s live show with a true home advantage.

Skerritt brought in Turner Broadcast’s 53' HD truck to control a 10-camera HD shoot , replete with camera cranes, fixed positions, and roaming heads. MODE studios principal designer Bob Bonniol signed on to provide a lighting package for the intimate club environment. He was assisted by his constant associate designer and programmer, Tommy Hague.

Bonniol comments, “The Cartel gig presented some unique problems. We had to achieve the big look of a major label DVD release, but we had to do it in an intimate and interesting venue that really let the Cartel core crowd cut loose.”

MODE Studios decided to tackle the main lighting effects and atmospheric presence through the use of dual Barco R12+ DLP Projectors positioned to shoot up and out from the back of the stage, functioning as extremely controllable back FX washes. They augmented this look with a fantastic light weight array of Element Labs Versa Tubes provided by XL Video.

“The idea here was to create as much lighting punch as possible with an absolute minimum of gear. The Versa Tubes worked so well as a variable look structure. We fed them with our own MediaMODE collections, Crack House, Vegas Baby, and Lightshow. We’ve developed these specifically for Lower res devices, and they really fill the void in terms of truly scenic application of video signal,” says Bonniol.

The Barco units utilized the Media MODES, as well as extensive applications of DHA Gobos, which come stock with the media servers used on the gig, Green Hippo’s HD Hippotizer. “The Hippo has been delivering on every production challenge we’ve had in the last 18 months. We never leave home without it,” says Hague.

XL Video in Atlanta and Christie Lighting’s Orlando shop lent invaluable support, as well as fantastic and flexible gear. Hans Beyer at XL had just fabricated the new lightweight Versa Tube ground-support hanging structures, which allowed for the walls to be hung with no aerial rigging. This was critical in the primitive environment of the club.

Larry Thomas at Christie Lighting provided two MA Lighting grandMA consoles--one for lighting, the other to control the Hippo. Christie also provided audience blinder units with color scrollers and a complete dimming package that allowed the MODE team to operate discreetly from the house system.

Director Matt Skerritt Says, “You can have the best production equipment in the country (like we did), a great crew (which we did), and talent who are willing and eager (which we did), but it all falls apart without production and lighting design. Bob Bonniol from MODE Studios flew in from Seattle, and in a matter of hours, had built a look that stole the audience and the band’s breath away. Simply Put, MODE made the show. ”

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